February 2016 – Birding Overview
7th of February 2016 – Daventry Country Park
A lovely sunny afternoon was ideal weather conditions to go over to Daventry in search of the Green-Winged Teal that had been reported a few days before. Upon arrival I and my fiancée enjoyed a good walk around the whole park. Starting at the car park our route was a clockwise one firstly checking the water for anything resembling a Teal. Plenty of common birds were on the lake such as Tufted duck, Great Crested Grebe, Shoveler and Wigeon. Since my last visit here there is now a green shipping container that has been adapted in to a bird hide complete with disabled ramp access. Sadly and on a cold and windy day it was locked! The wooded area was full of Blue, Great and Long-Tailed Tits, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and many Wren were seen and heard. Stopping to view the small stream from the wooden bridge gave me my first Grey Wagtail of the year.
Carrying on with our walk we came to an area where it was clear that the ground had been flattened by quite a few people that had walked from the cinder path towards the back pool. Looking out over the water I soon had many Eurasian Teal in view, a scan of the grit trap had Teal all along its edge, something awoke from its slumber and hey presto, the Yank was seen for the first time. Due to the distance it was not possible to get any photographs only scope views. It's always good to see one of these stunning little ducks. This year tick, makes it the third year in a row for Green-Winged Teal.
14th of February 2016 – Pitsford Reservoir
As with last Sunday the weather was very sunny, however the wind made for a cold afternoon.
First of all a short walk along the causeway gave up the usual ducks along with plenty of Lapwing. Here to was a Mediterranean Gull and few Common Gull amongst the many Black Headed and Lesser Black-Backed Gulls. Moving from here to the first hide, I passed Yellowhammer, Siskin, Tree Sparrow, Goldfinch and Chaffinch.
Taking shelter from the cold wind in hide I soon spotted a Ruddy Shelduck rafting on the water along with some Greylag geese. Little Grebe were constantly diving as their neighbouring Shoveler circled in male and female pairs.
Above the trees on the opposite side of the reservoir were Buzzards souring on the thermals and a single Red Kite made an appearance too. Walking back to the car park I flushed a Green Woodpecker that was digging for worms on the muddy track. As it took off, it was clearly not happy at being disturbed making a lot of noise as it flew away.
In the few hours spent here I saw 39 species of birds.
28th of February 2016 – RSPB Pagham Harbour
This month’s local Coventry and Warwickshire RSPB Group trip was to the Sussex coast on a very cold and windy day with mixed sunshine and showers. Leaving Coventry at 07:00am the coach trip to Pagham Harbour was as always full of chat amongst the birders that regularly sit at the back end of the coach.
As the title of the reserves name suggests it was coastal with inland scrapes, a small estuary and a pebble beach. As many people know I have a great fondness for the sea and everything that lives and breathes within it. So as with all trips, I spent a considerable time looking out to sea looking for ceteaceans and maybe a few seals, sadly this time none were seen. There were however a few Turnstone rushing up and down the incoming waves and I did manage to use my camera to get a few record shots.
The species of birds seen were; in alphabetical order, Avocet, Bar-tailed Godwit, Blackbird, Black-headed Gull, Black-tailed Godwit, Blue Tit, Brent Goose, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Common Gull, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great Black-backed Gull, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Green Sandpiper, Grey Heron, Grey Partridge, Grey Plover, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Lapwing, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Long-tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Red-breasted Merganser, Red-legged Partridge, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Robin, Feral Pigeon, Rook, Shelduck, Shoveler, Skylark, Snipe, Starling, Teal, Tufted Duck, Turnstone, Wigeon, Woodpigeon, Wren.